Six years ago, McDonald’s created the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour to provide music events at no charge for communities across the country. The tour has featured gospel greats Smokie Norful, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Myron Butler, Kierra “Kiki” Sheard, J Moss, Regina Belle, Hezekiah Walker and CeCe Winans. The objective the Inspiration Celebration tour is for McDonald’s to give back to local communities 365 days a year. This year Grammy Award winner Fred Hammond will headline the tour with special guests Byron Cage and Myron Butler. Rolling out caught up with Hammond in Dallas and chatted about the upcoming tour.
A good cause … Number one the Ronald McDonald House. Plus since we’re talking about it, I worked at McDonalds when I was in the eleventh grade for eleven months. And that’s how I got my start, right there, learning how to mop floors and throw away boxes. I didn’t know there was a procedure on how to throw away a box. But you had to fold it a certain way, crush it a certain way, and it had to be neat so you can maximize space. Then they can move you up to a fry station and then over there to the quarter pounder grill, and now they got me on the main grill. I was on the grill for like a year. Then I went into my senior year and decided to concentrate on school, but it was a great time. I enjoyed it, I was proud about it, so when this opportunity came up again, it was like full circle. Now, I can tell young people and parents that this is a great opportunity. You never know what it’s going to build. It prepared me for the military, and ultimately, prepared me for life. Those are my building blocks … The main thing is the Ronald McDonald House — it’s an amazing foundation … So this is a good opportunity for me to give back.
Can you give the rolling out audience a little taste of what to expect as far as the Celebration Gospel Tour? Are there any special guests that are going to be touring when you guys hit different cities?
Well yes, they’re going to be in several different cities. Like this weekend, we’re in New Jersey with Shirley Caesar, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and myself. On the other stops, there’s going to be J. Moss, Canton Jones I believe, 2103, and Byron Cage is on every concert. And we have a host of many others so that’s going to be good. And I’m going to take it up a notch. This will be one of the first times you go to a gospel concert and a skit will break out. So, I’m going to do some things that are going to be a little more theatric. It’s going to be fun.
McDonald’s Presents Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour is FREE! For information on tour dates, cities and tickets, visit http://mcdonaldsgospeltour.com